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Posts By: Carrie Brennan

New Principal for PFFS-Downtown: Welcome, Tamela Thomas!

Tamela Thomas has been selected as the next principal of Paulo Freire Freedom School-Downtown. She will begin her new post on July 1. Tamela comes to CITY after seven years of leadership experience in TUSD, most recently as an assistant principal of Tucson High School. Previously, Tamela taught middle school and high school science in […]

@CITYccl Team - Deeper Learning 2018

Join our team! CITY hiring for 2019-2020

Highlighted openings for the coming year include: City High School Math Teacher City High School Dean of Student Life & School Culture Check out our Employment page for details. At CITY Center for Collaborative Learning we pride ourselves on being a professional learning community that values adult learning and teacher leadership. We prioritize investment of resources […]

Year-end appeal: Help us finish strong!

May is a happening month around here! We launched the final stretch of the school year with 8thgrade portfolio gateway presentations on May 1 and have not slowed down. The seniors spent a few days camping on Mt. Lemmon reflecting and connecting, and then came down the mountain to do their gateway presentations on May […]

Board Chair Jonathan Martin shares an important update

A message from CITY Center for Collaborative Learning Board Chair, Jonathan Martin To Our Valued Community: I recently received news from Carrie Brennan, our longtime organizational leader and one of our co-founders, that she will be stepping down from her current post in June 2019. [Read Carrie’s message to the community.] I want to share […]

Executive Director Carrie Brennan to step down June 2019

Carrie Brennan, Executive Director and Co-Founder of CITY Center for Collaborative Learning, shares news of her departure at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. Dear Members of the CITY Community – Students, Parents, Alumni, Staff, Board, Community Partners & Supporters, At the end of this school year, I will join ranks with the graduating class […]

CommunityShare selected for international awared - photo

CommunityShare selected as one of the world’s most inspiring education innovations by HundrED

We distributed the following release via Mailchimp to our media contacts on November 15. Tucson-based CommunityShare has been selected by global education nonprofit HundrED, as one of the 100 most inspiring K-12 education innovations across the world. CommunityShare was chosen for its pioneering status and ability to create a scalable impact. CommunityShare connects teachers and students to […]

Annual appeal letter: A request for support & an opportunity to give thanks

Our annual fundraising appeal letter is headed out in batches this month–and while we are asking for support, we are also sharing gratitude with our supporters. Another way we are giving thanks this November. November 16, 2018 Autumn has finally arrived in the Sonoran Desert. It has been an exciting school year thus far for […]

PLC Summer Institute 2019

A full summer of adult learning

There were kids in and about our schools this summer, to be sure. City High School offered its annual summer school sessions and Paulo Freire Freedom School-University hosted a two-week arts camp. But predominantly, the learners on our downtown campus in June and July were adults. Six workshops took place in our new collaborative learning […]

Tim Grivois-Shah

Tim Grivois-Shah appointed Director of Professional Learning & Community Engagement

City Center for Collaborative Learning has appointed Timothy Grivois-Shah the director of professional learning and community engagement. Grivois-Shah previously served as the principal of Grijalva Elementary School in the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD). Before his tenure in TUSD, his education career was in the Chicago area, working as a classroom teacher, gifted education coordinator, […]

Reporting on teacher salary increases & our 2018-19 budget

Following the late-breaking developments that took place this past spring with the historic RedforED movement and the impact it had on the Arizona state budget for the 2019 fiscal year, we got to work on revising our own budget drafts with the main priority of increasing our teacher salaries. The finance committee of the CITY […]

#REDforED sweeps AZ – districts and charters alike

The #REDforED movement continues to gain momentum throughout Arizona. Many charter school teachers are standing alongside their district peers in weekly Wednesday walkouts and other public protests, including teachers in our three schools. At their monthly meeting on April 11, the board of directors of CITY Center for Collaborative Learning issued a resolution in support […]

Community joins us to open and celebrate new space

On March 1, we opened the doors to our new collaborative learning center to share and celebrate the new space with the community. The renovations looked amazing: the light blue stage backdrop, stunning floor-to-ceiling windows, polished concrete floor, subtle and stylish lighting, and newly-revealed barrel vault ceiling were each competing for attention – and together they […]

A doubleheader to remember: National Philanthropy Day 2017

CITY Center for Collaborative Learning was in the spotlight at the big National Philanthropy Day luncheon on November 17. Long-time board chair Mary Jo Ghory received the Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year award and the City High School internship program was honored with the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy award. Raevyn Crews, class of 2016, and senior […]

JoAnn Groh, Lead Facilitator for Project Based Learning

PBL for life’s projects: JoAnn Groh’s latest BIE blog

The latest post by JoAnn Groh published on the PBL Blog explores ways that the framework for project based learning can help all of us, young and old, as we take on projects in our lives. JoAnn is a national facilitator for BIE and the co-founder and principal of Paulo Freire Freedom School-Downtown, one of the […]

Creativity & early childhood education – keepin’ it real

I had the good fortune recently to spend a morning in one of my favorite places in the world – a preschool. While I had never been to this school in particular, I knew right away that it ranked right up there with the effective, creative and nurturing early childhood environments I know and love. […]

Carrie Brennan

August newsletter: Back to School Inspiration

We all remember the back-to-school fervor we experienced as kids. The antsy excitement about all that was new and unknown, combined with a bit of dread and a pair of new shoes. For educators this annual rhythm continues. Gearing up and launching the new year are high-energy times. Teachers rev up the engine that is […]

City High School graduation

July newsletter: Accolades Abound!

The school year drew to a close with our 8th graders and 12th graders in the spotlight at three beautiful graduation ceremonies. The spotlight has also been shining on our leaders and schools. It has been a full summer season of individual and collective recognition, and we are oh so proud! The excerpt above is […]

Summer fundraising campaign – annual appeal letter from the director

this year Our annual fundraising campaign kicks off in summertime as we pause between school years to reflect and strategize. Thank you to our many regional and national supporters for investing in our work and mission. Donations are tax-deductible and welcome throughout the year. to Contribute online, visit the ‘Donate’ page. June 30, 2017 This […]

City High School ranks #1 in the city in Education Equality Index report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (June 27, 2017, TUCSON, AZ) City High School has been recognized as a top school by achieving the highest score in Tucson, Arizona released in the newest data from the Education Equality Index (EEI) survey on June 20, 2017. The results shared that the average EEI score in Tucson is 57.7 and […]

Leading by example: Eve Rifkin earns her doctorate!

City High School’s Director of College Access and one of the school’s co-founders, Eve Rifkin, graduated in May with a Doctorate of Education Leadership and Policy from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development. I interviewed Eve recently about the intense three-year program and her experiences as a student – and the insights she gained as an educator. […]

Deeper Learning 2017 - large group

When students share and shine: the public nature of ‘deeper learning’

Last month I had the opportunity to return to the Deeper Learning conference at High Tech High. With over 1000 educators from around the world in attendance and an engaging, jam-packed agenda, DL2017 inspired and energized. We dove head first into the topic of ‘deeper learning’ by experiencing it ourselves. Conference organizers thoughtfully crafted a 3-day […]

Annual CITYscape newsletter – welcome from the director

Our annual CITYscape newsletter hits mailboxes this week. Below is the opening letter by Executive Director Carrie Brennan. To read the full publication, click here. To all of our old friends and new – we have so much to share with you! 2016 was a busy and exciting year and 2017 promises to be the […]

CommunityShare photo - Lancaster

CommunityShare ‘Seed Grants’ available to teachers

Innovation Spotlight

CommunityShare Founder/Director Josh Schachter sent out the following announcement earlier this month to the Southern Arizona education community …  CommunityShare is sponsoring a spring round for its Seed Grants Program to help support innovative school and classroom projects with community partners. Grants of up to $300 will be awarded to teachers for projects taking place during the 4th quarter of this […]

City High School staff - COD Ranch

Join our team! Recruiting teachers for Fall 2017

Join our team of dedicated and dynamic educators and teach at one of our three small secondary schools! CITY Center for Collaborative Learning is recruiting teachers and other staff for the 2017-18 school year and beyond. We seek candidates who see have experience in and are committed to our 10 core educational practices. For current postings, visit the Employment […]

Be Kind on Pennington St.

Ensuring our schools are safe spaces for all students

March 1, 2017 Dear Students and Families, Last week the United States Departments of Justice and Education rescinded the guidance that the Obama administration issued less than a year ago advising schools districts to let transgender students use the bathroom of their choice. This recent move by the federal government has created a lot of uncertainty and […]

CITY2020 Strategic Plan

CITY 2020: Strategic plan as roadmap

The CITY 2020 plan is an important roadmap for us during this time of exciting change and expansion within our organization. The mission and priority areas guide the ‘what’ of our work and keep us focused on ‘where’ we are headed. The vision and values light the way; they are the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of our work. Throughout […]

Maker Space - Paulo Freire Freedom School

Learning to make & making to learn

Innovation Spotlight

Check out our latest YouTube video highlighting innovative teaching and learning! Middle schoolers from the Paulo Freire Freedom Schools dive into an intensive day of hands-on maker activities. A video production crew from City High School capture the experiences of the Maker Day and interview students and staff to capture their reflections and insights about the connections […]


Board of directors welcomes 3 new members

The CITY Center for Collaborative Learning board of directors appointed three new members this fall. Joining the Board of Directors are Candace Feldman, Leslie Novick, and Glen Warner. Candace L. Feldman is the Director of Programming for UA Presents. Previously Feldman was the Producing Director for 651 ARTS, a non-profit arts organization based in Brooklyn, New […]

PFFS technology

Living in beta: PBL & technology

Teacher voice and the search for solutions to Arizona’s teacher crisis

The final days of the school year, once students are out of the building, is a busy time for K-12 educators. There is a special rhythm to wrapping up one year and prepping classrooms for the summer months: taking down bulletin boards, finalizing student grade reports, filing lesson plans, packing up activities, making notes for the […]